JEFFERSON CITY — Limestone is still a year away from officially joining the South Atlantic Conference in all sports. Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex, it got an early preview of what it will take to win on the baseball diamond in SAC play as Carson-Newman put up four runs in their final two innings to take a 6-3 victory over the Saints.
It was an experimental lineup for the Eagles (24-17) as they rolled in multiple new starts into the line up all throughout the order. With seven games to go, it gave the regular starters a rest and a chance for key reserves to shine. They made the most of it.
“It was good for them to be able to come in and contribute the way that they did,” C-N coach Tom Griffin said. “Early on, our pitchers had to keep us in the game. Not much was happening. It was a solid job from the pitching staff.”
Luke Friedman got his first start of the season for Carson-Newman, going 4.1 innings with five hits, two runs, a walk and six strikeouts. In all, the Eagles trotted out six pitchers on the day, with Nick Adkins pocketing the win with 0.2 innings’ work. He gave up one hit, one run, two walks and notched two strikeouts.
Hunter Long pocketed his fourth save of the season with a zero inning with two strikeouts.
The Saints (13-27) took an early lead in the top of the first with a Josh Evans sac fly that scored Benjamin Huber.
Carson-Newman tied the game in the fourth with an Alan Silva RBI single that brought in shortstop Dom Leo.
Limestone retook a one-run lead in the fifth with a Trace Whetsell RBI, only to see C-N tie the game again in the bottom of the frame with a Leo RBI single.
It was a nice day all around for Leo, who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
“I’m just trying to stick with what I’ve been doing lately,” Leo said. “I try to see the baseball and make hard contact. I didn’t have a good at-bat in the beginning, but my teammates helped me clear my head and I was able to push it through the hole.”
The game sat at 2-2 until the bottom of the seventh when Mark Treadway stretched what should have been a single into a double after some lackadaisical outfield play. John Sharpe then broke the stalemate with a pinch hit RBI double. Catcher Ethan Goforth traded places with Sharpe with an RBI double of his own before a Michael Wroth base hit brought in Goforth to put the Eagles up 5-2.
“We got some timely hits. Treadway stretching that was really good,” Griffin said. “Sometimes in midweek games, you can just go through the motions. He took a base on a guy fielding a ball and that’s what we want to do. That was a little bit of a spark.”
Limestone picked up a run in the eighth off a Huber solo home run, but never added another. C-N took back its three-run advantage in the bottom of the eighth with a Charlie Brown RBI that scored Treadway.
The Eagles hit the road this weekend for a three-game SAC series against Queens before returning home to the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex for four games, the first a Tuesday contest against Trevecca Nazarene at 2 p.m.